Category Archives: Perth

How do you celebrate yours?

Beautiful spring blossom in Hyde Park, Perth

It’s an interesting topic, the topic of birthdays.

If you think back to when you were a child birthdays were so exciting. You got presents and cake and people made a big deal out of you being another year older.

You spend your entire teens waiting for the next birthday, to be one year older and then you can….drive a car, smoke and drink, vote and do all the things adults do!

As we grow past the exciting birthday milestones of our 18th and 21st birthdays become, for most people, a sensitive topic. A downhill journey where each year brings you closer and closer to getting older. Birthdays can become less of a milestone and more of a hurdle. I was once told after I turned 25 years old that “its all downhill from now…”

For me, I decided a long time ago that I wanted to enjoy every moment of my special day. I wanted to view birthdays with the child-like excitement and wonder which I had had when I was little. This revelation came after a particularly depressing and very none eventful birthday where I sulked alone in my own little world. The following year I decided to do something special for me. I would buy myself a gift. Take myself somewhere nice and do all the things I wanted to do on my special day.

I now have a count down to my birthday. I eat cake, ice cream and don’t feel guilty. I always try and do something nice, something special for me. I have been to spa’s, travelled, brought myself a new MacBook just to name a few. I have balloons, birthday songs and tell everyone I meet (whilst proudly presenting my drivers licence with my date of birth on) that its my birthday!

Celebration cakes at work

I find most people find this sense of childish excitement quite baffling but uplifting. They join in singing Happy Birthday and they share my cake with me, they begin to smile and laugh at my 8 year old enthusiasm. I think it takes them back to their childhood when birthdays were something to celebrate rather than hide from.

This year I went to Perth and walked on the beach in the warmth. I visited my favourite parks and walked through the blossoming trees. I ate at one of my favourite places to eat and I had an awesome ice-cream smash! In the UK my birthday, being in November, has always been cold, wet, damp and an advocate for indoor activities so it was so very exciting to be outside in the blazing sunshine randomly telling people I was really excited because this was my first birthday in Australia.

I realised that if I change my attitude and belief system about something, then it carries other people along into that positive attitude.

So whenever your birthday is, let’s celebrate it! It is a very special and unique time where you came into this world to impart your special gifts and wonderful unique self onto the imprint of this planet. It was truly a special day! How do you choose to celebrate yours?


Introducing….Happy Green World

Copyright Key Image Photographers IMG_0575 copy 2

It seems I have the ability to make friends anywhere. One of my usual places to get talking to people is on a flight. I find other people’s life stories fascinating and a recent, boring 4 hour flight was transformed by the interesting conversation I had with the lady sat beside me.

Let me introduce Happy Green World:

This is a FREE educational tool developed by Environmental Consultant Marlou Bessem in 2011. Marlou’s passion for recycling blew me away. She is actually so passionate about shaving the planet and finding ways to recycle that she is offering her skills and knowledge for free.

At the time, living in Cairo, they were confronted daily with enormous amounts of rubbish on the streets and the effect of this on the environment. Marlou explained to me that whilst living in Egypt she began to show people the benefits of recycling but one area in particular really took off…..composting!

It’s such a simple thing. Being brought up in the UK we have always had a compost bin at the bottom of the garden. My parents would actively encourage us to compost waste food and teabags on a daily basis. This didn’t seem a big thing to me but then if you think about Egypt, sand, dessert and a lack of fertile soil to grow things in. The simple knowledge of composting becomes invaluable to farmers and people growing crops and fruits for a living. Best of all…its free!

It amazed me how a simple sharing of information through telling your story and sharing your passion with others for something which you feel is important can help to inspire and change others. Then I realised that is what most of us do who spend our spare time writing blog posts on here to share our knowledge and experiences with the rest of the world.

What started off as a noisy and negative flight was completely transformed by the amazing personality of Marlou. Please take some time to visit her sites and spread the word. Together we can change the world! It all starts with one person…




Kings Park

City scape from Kings Park, Perth, WA
City scape from Kings Park, Perth, WA

My creative photography work since University has always been based around the idea of journeys. For my degree I produced prints using a dark room and developing techniques which involved smelly chemicals and my favourite radio station.

My obsession with recording my journey’s has not stopped. I still keep a journal and I have collections of photographs from around the world.

When I first came to Perth one place which had me awestruck was King’s Park. I love it here! I know the place inside out now as I have walked here so much. I have an infinity to woods and trees. There is something about them. I just love being around them. I feel more grounded and calmer after a walk in the woods. I also love being high up. I like the way the energy feels when you can see for miles. This park encompasses both these things, then throw into the equation a camera and I am one happy little photographer!

IMG_1295 crop copyright Key Image Photographers

Last week I decided to take some night time photographs….the result produced an eerily similar, but improved on, set of prints to those I had in my early exhibitions at art college.

1321 1322_HDR2 copyright Key Image Photographers

Kings Park at night….an awesome place to visit during the day, even more beautiful at dusk!

1341 1342_HDR2 copyright Key Image Photographers

What a difference a smile makes….

I’ve travelled many different places in different countries and on different types of transportation but I want to dedicate today’s post to Perth’s bus drivers.

Where I come from people have always moaned about bus drivers, from the buses never being on time or from them being grumpy. 

When I arrived in Australia last year the first thing I did was take a bus to the city to find my accommodation. The bus driver was awesome. He told me exactly where I needed to go to find my hostel, he even let me know when I had arrived at the correct stop.

When I travelled to Darwin from Perth I assumed the bus drivers there would be just as helpful….wrong! This observation has been reinforced everywhere I have travelled. 

Perth bus drivers greet you with a smile and are a wealth of information, the main thing is though, they are willing to help. This is just my experience and other people’s views may differ but I think they deserve recognition for the positivity they elude whilst safely transporting visitors and commutors about the city. 

I am sure they have their bad days and ackward customers like everyone else but when you face things with a smile and a bit of positivity it’s amazing what a difference you can make to someone’s journey!

Bertie’s Quokka experience!

Bertie Quokka copyright Key Image

It’s been a while since Bertie the Bear made an appearance on my blog so I thought I would show you some of the things the travelling bear has been up to recently.

Bertie always felt excited when he was placed in the camera bag. Although it was a little cramped and resembled travelling economy class on an airline (without the inflight entertainment), it always meant that he was going somewhere. Somewhere new, somewhere different and somewhere exciting.

There was a time in his life when Bertie would have dreaded going somewhere new. He didn’t do new experiences and he certainly did not step out of his comfort zone. However, as his confidence grew so did his circle of experiences and he now felt a pang of excitement as he set off on a new adventure.

Bertie was now an experienced traveller and he knew that he was on a boat and a fast one at that. When the boat slowed to a stop Bertie felt the warmth of the sun heating up the outside of the camera case. Then there was a new feeling, one he had not experienced yet. It was a sort of occasional jerking and bouncing, a stop and start feeling but also a smooth sensation. He could hear the wind whistle around the camera bag so he knew that he was moving. When Bertie was finally freed of his comfy padded bag he realised he had been a passenger on a bicycle.

Bertie was placed gently on the warm tarmac which could only mean one thing….photo time!

A weird snuffling feeling made him jump. He froze as he could feel the warm breath of something on the back of his head. Bertie did not need to worry though….this was a Quokka. An extremely friendly animal which looked like a rat crossed with a kangaroo and was no bigger than a cat. The Quokka had never seen a Bertie and Bertie had never seen a Quokka. Quokka’s are only found on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. The island was named Rotte nest, which translates to “rats nest” by Willem de Vlamingh in 1696. What a privilege to meet one!

Just goes to show that you make friends where ever you go!

What is creativity?

Sphere Copyright Key Image Photographers

What is creativity?

Is it someone else’s interpretation of your final product?

Is it a sketch, drawing, photograph, sculpture?

Is it a poem, a piece of music or a strum of chords?

I was recently given a photographic brief to be “creative”. That was it! I found this harder than being told specifics. It gave me complete free reign to create a wonderful piece of photographic work. However, the ultimate goal of the person who asked me to be creative was to sell a property….

This left me with a dilemma.

Do I go all out and start taking photographs of the perfectly symmetrical corners of the room and the interesting contrast of light and dark shadows which will mean absolutely nothing to someone looking to see if the property has two bedrooms or three? Or do I tone down my interpretation of creativity to a suitable level which still represents what the buyer would want to see but then it isn’t all out creative as I have the potential to be. When I asked, I was told to go “all out”!?

Creative enough or too far?
Creative enough or too far?

The confusion comes because the term “creative” is unique to the individual. Someone may feel that they have been creative when painting a wall a different colour in their house, another when they completely redesign and landscape the garden.

I recall at art college being constantly baffled by the pure spectrum of creativity! Just tell me what to photograph or draw or paint…..

When I was creative in my own way, it didn’t seem to appeal to the lecturers. It didn’t achieve the higher grades so I was stuck….do I tone down my interpretation of creativity and do something which I know will get me a first so I can go on and be successful in society or do I stuff all of it and do my own little weird Sam thing in the corner of the room and hope for the best?

Being the rebel I am I did my own thing and didn’t come out too badly.

The problem with actually being creative for me has been everyone else’s opinion of my creations! We are in an approval driven society. We seek to improve, to be the best, to stand out but blend in and it is exhausting!

So in order to escape the constrains of being creatively controlled this weekend I went to Cottlesloe Beaches Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. It was interesting the large crowds creativity drew! As well as the number of photographers….you know, documentary photographers….stand by the sculpture, take a photo, move on!

Through the sculpture copyright Key Image Photographers

What about watching the way the light captures it…..or the fact there are rainbows on the ground by your feet? Whatever happened to looking up? Or down? Or simply sitting and watching? I wish I could have captured photographs of people’s faces when I walked up to the sculpture and held my camera so it was looking up the length of the sculpture! I mean someone being creative at an art exhibition, what’s that all about?

Close up metalwork copyright Key Image Photographers

I seem to have gone into a rant in this post. As a creative person I have always felt constantly frustrated at societies constrains so this is something very personal to me.

What is creativity to you? How do you express it?